Bankruptcy, plus a Sierra Club water pollution lawsuit, have prompted the Patriot Coal Company to agree to phase out its horrific mountaintop removal coal mining operations.
It’s the first time a coal company has agreed to end the destructive practice, which decimates the landscape and dumps tons of toxic debris into the mountain streams that feed the drinking water for millions of Americans.
“Patriot Coal recognizes that our mining operations impact the communities in which we operate in significant ways,” acknowledged company president Ben Hatfield. He added that MTR mining was clearly no longer in the company’s economic interests, even though the company had been one of the largest MTR companies.
“Patriot Coal may be the first company to cease mountaintop removal mining, but because of the tireless efforts of committed volunteers and community organizations, it certainly won’t be the last,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.